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Coronavirus Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:01 pm on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:01 pm, 23rd March 2020

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point, because we have advised against all unnecessary travel and I do not regard going to a holiday home in Wales as a necessary journey. There is a risk of putting extra pressure on the NHS in rural areas from large numbers of people going to second homes, so I entirely understand the concern he has raised. The powers do allow for a constable to take somebody to a place in order to prevent the spread of the infection and make sure that we can police the public health guidance that we have given. We have been absolutely clear in the past few days that if people do not follow this advice, we will not hesitate to act. We acted last week on pubs, clubs and restaurants. We said that people should not go to them, but it was clear that some were still open and so we took the decision to close them down, with enforcement powers for the police and trading standards. This Bill provides those powers more broadly.